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By Jamie Hubbard

Regardless of the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the old checklist preserves many examples of Buddhist thinkers and activities that have been banned as heretical or subversive. The San-chieh (Three degrees) used to be a favored and influential chinese language Buddhist move in the course of the Sui and Tang sessions, counting strong statesmen, imperial princes, or even an empress, Empress Wu, between its buyers. In spite, or even accurately simply because, of its proximity to strength, the San-chieh move ran afoul of the specialists and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed quite a few occasions over a several-hundred-year background. as a result of those suppressions San-chieh texts have been misplaced and little information regarding its teachings or heritage is accessible. the current paintings, the 1st English examine of the San-chieh flow, makes use of manuscripts came across at Tun-huang to envision the doctrine and institutional practices of this flow within the higher context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. via viewing San-Chieh within the context of Mahayana Buddhism, Hubbard unearths it to be faraway from heretical and thereby increases vital questions on orthodoxy and canon in Buddhism. He exhibits that a number of the hallmark rules and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and targeted expression within the San-chieh texts.

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Extra info for Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (Nanazan Library

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78 24 / hsin-hsing— a buddhist heretic? 79 We can think, for example, of the simple and settling inµuence of the physical training gained by circumambulation and prostration (prostration was also a frequently assigned punishment for infractions of meditation hall rules; see chapter 6); developing humility and respect through ritual ablutions, cleansing and adorning the ritual site, and building the altar; cultivating the power of concentration through offering, chanting, and visualization; and, of course, fostering an acute awareness of the unavoidable nature of sin through confession and repentance.

P. McDermott, “Scripture as the Word of the Buddha,” Numen 31 (1984), 30–31; Davidson, “Standards,” 303–305. 16 Carter, Dhamma, 156; Nattier, Once Upon a Future Time , 66. 19 The order—hearing and mastering ³rst, practice last—clearly indicates the priority of orthodoxy over orthopraxy. A concern for canonical orthodoxy, therefore, is part and parcel of the teaching of the demise of that same orthodoxy, or, more accurately, is the main thrust of that teaching. As noted above, maintaining such an orthodoxy in an oral tradition demands great attention to the “words and letters,” or the forms in which the tradition is heard and taught, for the performance of a tradition becomes in good part the tradition itself.

679a; see also chapter 8, 216–17. 475a ; see also chapter 8, 205. 49b. absolute delusion, perfect buddhahood / 35 even the timetables of decline as at the rhetorical context, a context that reveals a similar polemic or sectarian discourse more interested in establishing a particular orthodoxy of “true teaching” than in voicing historical predictions of actual decline, prophetic warnings of moral failings, or existential statements about humankind’s capacity for realization. In fact, the beginnings of the Buddhist tradition of decline are best understood as a rhetoric of orthodoxy that marks the appearance of doctrinal differentiation in the Buddhist community.

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